TYM ICT: Self-driving agricultural machinery will be introduced next year
A wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in agriculture and cutting-edge technology is essential to cope with the rapidly changing agricultural environment. Agricultural machinery, like self-driving cars, will speed up the era of cultivation by itself as long as humans give orders.
Kim So-won, CEO of TYM ICT, stresses that agricultural machinery should be able to manage crop cultivation from sowing to harvesting comprehensively. TYM ICT, a subsidiary of TYM (formerly Dongyang C&T), was established in July to develop advanced agricultural machinery, such as autonomous agricultural machinery. TYM ICT, which showcases TYM's know-how, will focus on realizing smart agriculture under the leadership of CEO Kim. After joining TYM as an employee and working for 17 years, CEO Kim also serves as the head of TYM's management strategy division.
CEO Kim explained, "Information Communication Technology (ICT), autonomous driving, telematics (communication and information science), smart farm, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) are major technologies for smart agriculture. TYM ICT has only been established for a year but recently completed the nation's best self-driving tractor demonstration."
"Differentiation" is important for any company to secure competitiveness in the market. The agricultural machinery market is not limited to Korea and is primarily formed overseas, such as the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia, so differentiation is essential. “TYM ICT has more than 70 years of know-how in the field of agricultural machinery,” CEO Kim said. "We have achieved a convergence of expertise in agriculture, agricultural machinery, and excellent ICT technologies that other developers do not have.”
“If there is excellent technology, it is a big task to connect it to commercialization. Regarding the commercialization of technology,” CEO Kim adds. "There are so many things to prepare to commercialize excellent technologies, especially global networks, brand power, and external expansion, which are all very important. TYM recently acquired international machines that produce tractors and combine, and introduced new power in overseas markets.”
TYM ICT’s particular focus is on developing unmanned agricultural machinery. Labor-based agriculture has become increasingly difficult as Korea is expected to enter a super-aged society by 2030. The labor shortage is already a predicted problem, and the way to achieve sustainable agriculture is through unmanned agricultural machinery powered by autonomous driving. TYM has been developing autonomous driving technology since 10 years ago and will gradually release autonomous agricultural machinery such as tractors incorporated with telematics technology.
The development of unmanned agricultural machinery could provide support to the growing number of young people returning to farming. CEO Kim’s theory is that agriculture is directly related to the national food security issue. To address this growing issue, young farmers, who will lead the future of Korean agriculture, should be actively supported.
CEO Kim said, “We donated tractors to 12 young people returning to farms this year, which they continue to use to maintain and manage their farms. These tractors are equipped with telematics services that inform users when there is a failure or engine oil change.”
Agricultural machinery companies are no exception to ESG management. Many companies have started the movement not so long ago. TYM Group has recently declared ESG management, a first in the agricultural machinery industry, and established an in-house ESG committee and secretariat.
To cope with climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption were monitored and stricter in-house management standards were established to manage water pollutants. CEO Kim said, “TYM ICT’s precision agricultural technology is essential for ESG management of TYM Group.” He adds, “It will have a greater effect if it promotes optimized agriculture that prevent environmental problems such as soil and water pollution.”
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